Vienna, Austria, July 31, 2019 - When reviewing the list of pool play teams to determine a must-see group of matches here Wednesday at the US$600,000 A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch, Pool F’s schedule featuring beach volleyball teams from Brazil and Canada, the Czech Republic and Germany is a must-see.
Wednesday's featured women's pool includes defending A1 Major Vienna champions and 22nd-seeded Barbora Hermannova/Marketa Slukova from the Czech Republic along with 11th-seeded Heather Bansley/Brandie Wilkerson of Canada, who placed third Sunday at the Olympic dress rehearsal event in Tokyo.
Pool F also includes two teams that qualified Tuesday for the A1 Major Vienna main draw - Maria Antonelli/Carolina Salgado of Brazil and 27th-seeded Victoria Bieneck/Isabel Schneider of Germany. All four teams are competing together on the Donauinsel for the third-straight season with Antonelli and Carolina losing to Hermannova and Slukova in the 2018 semifinals en route to placing fourth.
Barbora Hermannova (right) hits against Brazilian Carolina Salgado (left) at the 2018 A1 Major Vienna as Czech Republic partner Marketa Slukova follows the action.
The four teams will be playing their opening Pool F matches on side-by-side courts Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. (local time) with Bansley/Wilkerson meeting Hermannova/Slukova and Bieneck/Schneider challenging Antonelli/Carolina. The two winners meet at approximately 3:30 p.m. for the group title while the losers face off around 5:30 p.m. to avoid elimination and placing 25th.
While the Czech Republic and Brazilian pairs were enjoying final four finishes at last year’s A1 Major Vienna, Bieneck/Schneider placed ninth and the Canadians posted one of their two worst placements together on the FIVB World Tour with a 25th place by losing twice in pool play on August 1, 2018 to teams from Italy and Russia.
What started with 56 women's teams from 21 countries on Tuesday, now continues on Wednesday for 32 beach volleyball pairs from 15 nations seeking gold at the US$600,000 A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch.
The Vienna Major also features eight men's qualifying matches on Wednesday sandwiched around 32 women’s pool play contests on Donauinsel, the long, narrow island lying between the Danube river and the parallel excavated channel Neue Donau in the Austrian capital.A1 Major Vienna presented by Swatch - Match schedule
The third of four major events on the 2018-2019 FIVB World Tour calendar, the A1 Major Vienna is also part of the qualifying process for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where Saturday's women's and Sunday's men's gold medal teams will collect 1,200 points towards qualifying to the quadrennial event in the Japanese capital.
Half of the 32-team women's A1 Major Vienna main draw field is made up of players from Brazil (five), Germany (four), the United States (four) and host Austria (three). The other nations still seeking the $40,000 first-place prize are Canada (two), China (one), the Czech Republic (one), Italy (one), Latvia (1), The Netherlands (two), Poland (one), Russia (two), the Slovak Republic (one), Spain (two) and Switzerland (two).